The Church

Recently our pastor said something I have been chewing over in my mind ever since.

The Church is not only an organization; it is an organism.

The Church is a living Body. We are the Body of Christ Himself. But I think too often, the Church settles with being a mere organization.

If more Christians viewed the Church as a living organism rather than just another organization, I think the Church would be more relevant. We couldn’t be ignored or overlooked. And we certainly wouldn’t only think of the Church on Sunday mornings.

In Acts 5, the disciples were put in prison but an angel opened the doors and set them free, telling them (in verse 20) to “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” The angel told them to go right back and do what had gotten them thrown in jail. And the disciples obeyed, going to the temple early in the morning and teaching again. Because they knew they had the words of LIFE. They were not building a club or a place to get dressed up and socialize on Sunday mornings. They were offering LIFE.

Once again, they were brought before the high priest. Then in verse 28, the high priest said to the disciples, “you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine . . . ” Wow! What a challenge to us! These first disciples had filled the city with the Truth, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Is my Church doing that? Are we filling our town with the doctrine of Jesus? Am I doing that? Am I offering words of life everywhere I go? Do I really believe I am part of a living organism, the Body of my Savior?

Well then, it’s time to start living like my Church isn’t just some place I go on Sunday mornings.

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6 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christianity, church, missions

6 responses to “The Church

  1. Stuart Delony has some great thoughts on the church here.

  2. Rob and I thought your blog entry was very timely (as it directly related to something he and I were discussing right before I read your entry!). Thanks!

  3. I would say your pastor was right and wrong. I would say that the church is only an organism. Nowhere in the New Testament is the church ever referred to as an organisation. My body is not an organisation, it is an organism–as is Christ’s body A.K.A the church.
    Something else struck me in your post. The religious leaders said that they (the Apostles) had filled their city with “their doctrine.” They missed the “good news” because it threatened their doctrine. 2,000 years later and way too many of our religious leaders are still there.
    Great post. Have a great day.

  4. Joe, you’re right that the word “organization” isn’t used as far as I know. But some time is spent in the New Testament explaining how the early Church was to be organized and structured. “Organization” means “the condition or manner of being organized” or “an association” or “an administrative and functional structure.” So I would say that the Church in the first century and the Church today fits that definition.

    And I’m not sure I understand what you were saying. Are you saying the apostles/disciples missed the Good News? Or are you saying the religious leaders missed the Good News?

    The passage in Acts that I referred to says that the religious leaders told those early disciples “you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine.” What doctrine did the first disciples teach and preach? The doctrine (meaning “teaching” or “instruction” or “principles”) of Christ. They filled Jerusalem with the teachings of Christ. The doctrine those first disciples preached and the doctrine we should be preaching is the Good News.

  5. LOL, yeah sorry about that. I was lazy yesterday. I normally type out all comments in MSWord and then cut and paste after proofing. I meant the religious leaders missed the good news. They were more interested in keeping their doctrine safe. Too often church leaders today are doing the same thing.
    As for the Organization/Organism thing. I agree with what you are saying and maybe your pastor and I would be spot on together (communicating nuances via the web can be difficult) but too often church’s are run like a business.
    We don’t ask God what do you want us to do and then go do it, as much as we look at the budget and say, “Well, that money isn’t in the budget.” My basic point is that the more time that is spent on the organization side of things the more bad usually comes out of it. I’ve worked in all aspects of church leadership and heard things debated/discussed that still to this day blow my mind away.
    Ok, my kids are being way too quiet, I need to go find out what is going on. Hopefully, I made more sense today. 🙂

  6. Joe, perfect sense. And I agree. Obviously, there has to be some organization, but some local churches do tend to be run like a business and lose the whole point of being Christ’s Body. I agree with you.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Oh, and when it gets too quiet in my house, I know the bathroom is probably being flooded or someone is eating ice cream straight from the freezer or they are all conspiring to have a jumping contest from the top of the triple bunk. 🙂

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